Congress Wants Deutsche Bank To Hand Over Trump’s Financial Records As well As His Tax Returns

Congress wants to know why Deutsche Bank loaned Mr. Trump money when no other bank on the planet would give the real estate tycoon the time of day. Mr. Trump did get loans from American banks before he bankrupted his airline and casinos. When Trump defaulted on those loans, and the banks that got stuck with the mess Trump created, they vowed never to give Trump another nickel.

But Deutsche Bank decided to lend Trump money in spite of his loan repayment record. According to the Fortune, the Trump Organization made a deal to play a part in a money-laundering scheme that involves the Russian government and a Deutsche Bank branch in Moscow.

According to the report, the director of the Moscow branch had a close relationship with the Kremlin. The Kremlin wanted to exchange rubles for dollars under the table, and the director of the bank made that happen. And some say Trump played a part in that scheme.

Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, sent Deutsche Bank a friendly subpoena in order for the bank to comply with his request for Trump’s financial records. And Richard Neal, the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee wants the IRS to release Trump’s tax returns. Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin, one of Trump’s fanboys, wants to block that request. But Neal won’t quit until he sees how Trump gets away with paying little or no taxes. Several news reports say Trump’s accountants used creative accounting to help Trump avoid paying taxes.

Mr. Trump claims he is a victim, and he hopes no other president will go through the political torture Congress has put him through. Mr. Trump’s personal Lawyer William Consovoy sent a letter to Neal that said the request for Trump’s tax returns is unconstitutional. But there is a 1920s law that states Congress can request the tax returns of any American citizen. Consovoy and Rudy Giuliani say that law doesn’t apply to the president.

Despite all the pressure and the mudslinging, Melania Trump and Karen Pence say they love their jobs. No one is sure what Karen Pence actually does, but she likes to travel with Mike when he travels overseas to promote Trump’s nationalism. Melania wants another four years in the White House so she can make Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour put her on a Vogue cover again. But that won’t happen, according to Wintour, a former Trump friend, and Democratic supporter.

After a Dog Bite: Kisling, Nestico & Redick Help You Know Your Legal Rights

Kisling Nestico & RedickAccording to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year, with 20 percent of those bites requiring medical attention. That’s almost one million dog bites labeled as severe and requiring additional treatment. Furthermore, these bites can lead to additional diseases like rabies and tetanus in certain cases. Needless to say, dog bites are no joke and should be taken seriously. The law office of Kisling, Nestico & Redick are experts in handling personal injury lawsuits and can help get the care and compensation victims deserve. 

A dog bite can be a legal matter that must be taken seriously. Data from the Insurance Information Institute shows that $675 million was paid in liability claims in 2018 as a direct result of dog bites or other dog-related injuries. This goes to show how important it is to get the right legal advice for a dog bite and take care of any hardship that may result.

How to Handle a Dog Bite in Ohio

Because many personal injury laws, including those relating to dog bites, are different from state-to-state, it’s important to understand the laws regarding dog bites in Ohio before attempting to make a claim.

According to Ohio statute 955.28, an owner, harborer, or keeper of a dog is generally liable for injuries caused by that animal. That person is also responsible for “death or loss to person or property that is caused by the dog.” The individual controlling the dog is therefore at fault in any instance where a dog bite becomes serious and the victim needs medical treatment or additional care.

Additionally, under the state’s common law doctrine, added compensation can be warranted if the dog has previously bitten another person or acted aggressively in the past. However, proving this in a court of law is not easy and may require collecting witness testimony from those who have experienced the dog’s aggressive behavior. Another option is to look up bite records which were previously filed in the court system. If you find that you were not the first victim of the dog in question and there was malicious intent, you may be entitled to punitive damages. These damages are used to punish the defendant for multiple acts of wrongdoing in the hopes of making them understand the severity of these harmful acts.

In the state of Ohio, the majority of dog bite cases are covered under homeowner’s insurance policies. This is the first place a victim can go to obtain the restitution and damages they deserve and may be all that is needed if the bite is less severe. However, more severe bites may warrant additional damages, so it is important to consult with an expert legal team.

It should go without saying that this law does not apply if the injury was inflicted upon someone who was committing an unlawful act, such as trespassing on private property, committing a crime, or abusing the dog in question.

KNR Knows Your Rights

A serious dog bite can start with serious injuries and scars and lead to missed time from work, psychological trauma, and other hardships. The team at Kisling, Nestico & Redick know that anyone bitten by a dog should get the care and compensation they deserve so that they can move forward with their life.

Kisling, Nestico & RedickAn experienced lawyer from Kisling, Nestico & Redick knows the drill when it comes to filing a third-party claim against the insurer representing the dog’s owner. Depending on the bite and severity, this claim may request both economic damages (like medical expenses and lost wages) and non-economic damages (like physical and emotional pain or scarring from the injury).

First, the legal team at KNR works to understand all of the details of the attack by conducting a thorough investigation. From there, the team can then provide guidance on the best next steps, whether that is filing an insurance claim or taking the incident to the legal system and filing a lawsuit against the dog’s owner.

It’s not easy to navigate the insurance and legal systems in Ohio, especially after being attacked and severely injured by a dog. That’s why it’s best to turn to experts who are trained in providing you with the best legal service and can help you recover the most compensation possible to help you move forward with your life.

Contact KNR today to get more information or a free legal consultation for any dog bite that you or a loved one may have recently experienced.

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High-Priced Lawyer Caught Up in College Admissions Scheme

Although famous celebrities may have gotten the most press attention in the college admissions cheating scandal, one high-priced lawyer is also caught up in the fray. Authorities say that attorney Gordon Caplan also took part in the scheme. He’s a co-chairman at the law firm of Willkie Farr & Gallagher in New York. Desperate Housewives star Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin of Hallmark Channel and Full House fame are also charged in the scandal.

Willkie Farr & Gallagher placed Caplan on a leave of absence. They say that others have taken over management responsibilities for the firm. The charges against Caplan include honest services mail fraud and generic mail fraud. Authorities allege that he paid $75,000 for someone to cheat on an ACT exam for his daughter. The FBI built their case using wiretapped phone calls with Caplan and a cooperating witness.

Authorities say Caplan isn’t the only one involved. They say that dozens of parents cheated in a variety of ways including bribing test proctors to change test answers or negotiating to have children recruited as student-athletes even if they never played the sport. They say that the cheating scandal resulted in admissions to some of the most elite universities throughout the United States including Yale, the University of Texas, as the University of Southern California. Some students went as far as to stage or photoshop photos that showed them playing a sport even though they have no experience with the sport.

In a report by the Washington Post, representatives from the universities say that they had no part in the cheating schemes. They say that they were duped by coaches. Some schools have taken steps to remove participating coaches. Other schools say that they are considering rescinding offers of admission even if students have already started at the school.

William Rick Singer is the alleged center point of the scandal. They say that he ran a college entry preparatory business called the Edge College & Career Network. They say from there he collected bribes through a nonprofit called Key Worldwide Foundation. Sometimes, parents paying bribes deducted their bribes from tax liabilities by calling them charitable contributions.

Singer advised students to take the exam at specified test centers. He arranged for the students to claim they had disabilities that required more time to complete the exams. From there he worked with proctors to change test results.

Authorities say that they have a recorded phone call between a cooperating witness and Caplan. In the recording, Singer assures Caplan that the students involved don’t even know about the scheme. They say the children are just pleasantly surprised when they see their test results. In the phone call, Caplan says that he’s interested in having his daughter fly to Los Angeles for testing with a proctor from the company. Caplan also considered having someone take online courses as Caplan’s daughter in order to boost her GPA.

95,000 Non-citizens Said to be Registered to Vote in Texas

The Texas Secretary of State has discovered that about 95,000 people who were are not United States citizens are registered to vote in the state. The Texas Department of Public Safety reports that about 58,000 of those people have voted at least once. That’s 61 percent of the 95,000. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said, “Every single instance of illegal voting threatens democracy in our state and deprives individual Texans of their voice.” His election fraud unit has already prosecuted highly publicized cases against the democratic process.

Attorney General Paxton emphasized that his office has obtained numerous voter fraud convictions against Tarrant, Montgomery and Navarro County women who are not U.S. citizens. One of those women had voted in elections for over 10 years. She falsely claimed U.S. citizenship, but she was only a U.S. permanent resident who was not permitted to vote under Texas law. As per Breitbart, the woman voted as a Republican. A second woman assumed the identity of another woman after stealing her U.S. passport and social security number. She had voted in three elections cycles. The woman was sentenced to 10 years in prison, and after that, she will be deported. A third female is under indictment after illegally voting in the 2016 election. To date the Texas Attorney General’s Office has prosecuted 33 voter fraud defendants.

Harris County is the largest county in Texas. The Public Interest Legal Foundation has now sued Harris County in seeking noncitizen voting records for inspection. The group brought a complaint in connection with the local Democratic Party allegedly mailing voter registration applications to noncitizens that had already been filled out. The applications were said to have had the U.S. citizen box already checked.

Texas law allows noncitizens who live in the state to obtain driver’s licenses, but only United States Citizens are allowed to vote. What comes to issue is that Texas law does not require verification of citizenship. Amy person who pleads guilty or is found guilty of voter fraud in the state can be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison along with a fine of up to $10,000.

President Trump Had More Than 1,400 Conflicts Of Interest Since The Election

Donald Trump is an unusual president. In fact, he’s so unusual his voter base can’t get enough of him. The president is a master manipulator who loves to be in front of the cameras. Whenever a new allegation surfaces about his election campaign, he tweets and then calls the “fake news” together to explain why the press lies when they talk about him. Mr. Trump can do no wrong in the eyes of his voter base even though the watchdog group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), claims Trump is using the office of president for personal gain.

According to CREW, the president promotes his often questionable business transaction as extensions of his official duties. In 2017, CREW found more than 900 occasions when the Trump presidency and the Trump organization acted as one entity. The president visited Trump properties more than 118 times in 2017, and he talked about the Trump organization 68 times that year, according to CREW.

But it’s not just Trump, and the Trump family visiting Trump properties. More than 110 federal employees and more than 50 members of Congress visited Trump Organization properties in 2018. Plus, more than 30 state officials visited Trump properties. That kind of business support sounds fishy. But when CREW considered the fact that more than 150 political committees spent more than $5 million at Trump properties since he took office, the conflict of interest plot thickens.

The fact that at least 12 foreign governments paid to stay at Trump properties over the last two years is hard to ignore. The conflict of interest allegations couldn’t be much clearer to the Democrats.

Mr. Trump said he would turn over the daily operations of his business to his sons Don Jr. and Eric, but that hasn’t happened, according to CREW. Mr. Trump still calls the shots for the Trump Organization. He uses his position to pad the deep pockets of his company.

The Trump International Hotel in Washington D.C. is what some legal experts call the conflict of interest smoking gun. Dignitaries from the Middle East always stay there. Saudi Arabia officials spent millions at Trump’s Washington hotel over the last two years.

According to a case in the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Mr. Trump isn’t playing by the rules set forth by the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution. He’s receiving money from foreign governments for personal profit. That has to stop, according to Democrats. But there are no signs Trump intents to stop lining his pockets while he’s president.

Wedding Barn Fiery Debate

In Wisconsin, it’s not at all unusual to rent out a barn for a private party or even a wedding reception. What has come to issue now is whether barn owners who rent their barns for private events must follow state laws that are aimed as businesses that sell alcohol. Wisconsin’s outgoing attorney general has now given his opinion on the issue. His conclusion is that barn owners must comply with state liquor laws, even for private events. That opinion isn’t binding though.

Given the high level of alcohol consumption in Wisconsin, the state’s Tavern League has strong lobbying power in Madison. The Tavern League is said to want to eliminate its competition. As per the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, the Tavern League’s chief lobbyist contends that the league’s members are in compliance with all state laws. He is accusing barn owners of “running us out of business because of the significant advantage they have over us.” According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, liquor licenses in Wisconsin can cost up to $30,000 for businesses in newly developed districts that are appraised at $20 million.

A spokesman from the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty says that the issue is a matter of competition that the Tavern League doesn’t want. He remarked that the broad interpretation of Wisconsin’s liquor laws would mean that somebody renting out their home would require a permit before anybody could consume alcoholic beverages on the premises. The attorney general maintains that his analysis of state law is impartial and purely based on applicable statutes.

According to USA Today, Wisconsin is the drunkest state in the United States behind South Dakota. This stormy debate comes after 2015 guidelines were released by the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services that require repurposed agricultural facilities that are used as buildings for use by the public to comply with the state’s public building code. There is presently an exception for barn owners. More traditional wedding sites say that barns are both unsafe and unfair. Most municipalities don’t require wedding barns to have liquor licenses or licensed bartenders.

Paul Mampilly Reveals Stocks Most Affected by Trump’s Trade War

Paul Mampilly has stated that President Donald Trump has been threatening to start a trade war with China, and some stocks are going to suffer because of it. The unfortunate thing about this is that the stocks that are set to take a fall are currently extremely popular.

Wilbur Ross of the Commerce Department has called China “the most protectionist country” on our list of trade partners and stated that new tariffs will be placed on Chinese aluminum and steel. The announcement caused steel stocks to rise for one day, but experts believe that if this sort of talk and the actions it leads to continue, American companies that are overexposed in China could pay a very high price.

In response to the announcement, China stated that it may turn its attention to Boeing, Starbucks and General Motors and place a 45 percent tariff on products imported to the United States from China. The danger is that future revenue would be in as much peril as near-term revenue if the U.S. follows through with its promises.

President Trump would place an import tariff on foreign goods to make these products more expensive in the U.S. marketplace. This gives an upper hand to manufacturers of steel and aluminum in the United States. These import tariffs would also reduce the amount of products of low quality that China has been dumping into U.S. markets. This strategy is not without risks because analysts say that steel and aluminum manufacturing in America would also suffer. In addition to that, if prices remain high for a long period of time, it will hurt several companies’ bottom lines, stunt job growth and hurt the overall economy.

When these particular stocks start to lose value, investors big and small are going to want to sell them. This, of course, is going to mean that no one will be in the market to buy them. As of right now, these stocks are looking very weak. One example is Harley-Davidson, and it lost 6 percent of its value following an announcement that it would start producing some of its equipment overseas.

Paul Mampilly says that people should start selling their stocks now before the selling gets out of control and people begin to lose money.

Paul Mampilly used to work on Wall Street, but he left that line of work because he wanted to help regular people buy the best stocks for their portfolios. He started the newsletter Profits Unlimited for this purpose. With his years of experience and expertise, Paul Mampilly recommends the stocks that he believes are going to climb higher to the 130,000+ subscribers who receive his newsletter.

What does Paul Mampilly recommend that you sell?

The Boeing Company

According to Paul Mampilly, the one to get hit the hardest will be Boeing. It is the boeingnumber one stock that is overexposed to China. This is a blue-chip stock, and 13 percent of its sales come from China. Boeing was expecting China to purchase 30 percent of the 737s that it makes, but China can easily start to buy from European company Airbus. This one action would send Boeing’s stock crashing to the ground. In addition to that, 150,000 American jobs would be at risk if China follows through with this threat.

Apple Inc.

apple logoIt’s also time to avoid Apple. Approximately 25 percent of Apple’s sales come from China. Apple’s products are also made in China. Because of this, Apple’s predicament is different from all other companies. If China were to do something to prevent Apple phones from being sold in China, Apple’s stock would be worthless.

The iPhone factories that Apple operates in China could also be in trouble. China could decide to inspect these factories more often than it has been doing in the past, but it could also charge Apple more for transportation fees so that it will be more difficult for Apple to transport its phones to other global markets.

In other words, a trade war means that Apple will lose.

The possibility exists that President Trump will encourage Apple to begin producing iPhones in the United States, and analysts believe that American manufacturers will outperform those in China. However, increased production in the U.S. will mean higher prices and lower profits. Experts say that share buybacks and dividends will no longer exist.

Starbucks Corporation

starbucksStarbucks is also overexposed to China. There are more than 1,540 Starbucks stores in China. That means that 6 percent of Starbucks stores are in China, and the company wants to have as many as 5,000 Chinese stores by 2021. Starbucks is currently losing steam in America, so it is counting on China to make up for that because the Chinese Starbucks market is growing faster than any other market in the world.

A trade war wouldn’t mean anything good for Starbucks, and we could expect to see the lowest of the lows for this company.

General Motors Company

General_Motors_logo.svgThis is another company that is highly dependent upon China. In 2017, GM sold the Chinese more than 4 million vehicles, and only 20 million cars were sold in China in total that year.

GM had a record number of sales to China in the last quarter, but it could decide that it wants to purchase cars from local manufacturers. All it would need to do is give people incentives for buying locally. It could also tie up GM in red tape and regulations so that it would be difficult for GM to manufacture its cars in China.

It is best to leave this stock alone until GM settles its differences with China.

Walmart Inc.

walamrt logoWalmart is double exposed in China as Apple is double exposed. China currently has 20 Walmarts. It also has 1.4 million members of its 14 Sam’s Clubs, and Sam’s Club has been growing at a rate of 10 percent each year. On the other side, Walmart purchases a ton of merchandise from China. Experts have stated that 40 percent to 70 percent of the things sold at Walmart were purchased from China.

The point must be made here that China would also be hurt if there is a trade war between it and the United States, but there is still danger.

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China’s Legal Retaliation

China responded to the United States trade rules by disapproving Washington’s move to the supremacists of its foreign investment supervisory body. The Chinese administration expresses fears that this move means that the US will use general security apprehensions unlawfully to confine Chinese investments. Chinese Tech industries investing in the US are the targets of the new investment rules. The recent trending trade wars have sparked retaliation in imports and exports between China and the US. The levies are valued at $34 billion.

The Trump administration imposed tariffs on its allies a month ago which, has brought heat-ups in trade. All Washington’s trade associates vowed to retaliate in case president Trump refused to evoke the new rules. Following Trump’s declination, countries in the European Union and China began strike backs on certain US commodities. These trade wars have affected the Forex platform with investors avoiding risks given the deteriorating value of currencies against the greenback.

The US President Donald Trump whispered his support on the legislation that would magnify the influences of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US (CFIUS). CFIUS exists as an inter-agency group that inspects the state security and effects of trade deals resulting in foreign proprietorship of US firms. The president has the mandate to cease agreements if recommended by the body. However, in run-through, a lousy CFIUS outcome only is so often sufficient to halt a deal. In a statement, Mr Trump hailed the move claiming that it was combat for the predatory venture practices menacing the US tech industry, and future economic fortune.

Deals that would pose a threat to the US tech prosperity can be halted by the stretched out role of CFIUS legislation. The critical striking point in the US and China trade tensions revolves around intellectual property. For long the US has been accusing China of stealing the country’s tech. The legislation is highly opposed by China with Gao Feng, saying China will monitor it to evaluate its potential impact on Chinese firms. Gao is the Chinese Commerce Ministry spokesman. According to BBC, China is the primary investor in the US which should exempt it from harsher foreign investment legislation.
China has been focusing on its initiative, Made in China 2025, that focuses on tech progress. Since the election of Trump, Chinese investment depreciated with values from the Rhodium Group showing a more than 90% fall in 2017. China’s investment in the US totaled $24.2 billion in 2017 according to the American Enterprise Institute (AEI).

The Essence of Certifications in the Legal Industry

The integration of experts and machines is expected to increase exponentially over the next decade. Specialists who have an in-depth knowledge in law will drastically affect both the legal support staff and the practising lawyers’ community. The earning potential in this industry is accelerated whenever an attorney has the necessary certifications and credentials. Certifications also provide vertical mobility, job security and greater sustainability. They also produce attorneys who practice with their foundational knowledge and cutting-edge skills that are critical in competing in the 21st century where services have become data-driven. Privacy has been the focus in 2018 and has shifted from corporate to social consciousness in a more aggressive manner.

Privacy is not entirely new to the law profession. However, it has been in the spotlight over the last year like never before. Corporate legal operations are now finding it very necessary to train or hire privacy professionals. These specialists have become an invaluable resource in supporting the practice and development of any law firm in the United States and the world over. The fast rise in privacy has been attributed to the reaction by most firms to the dire consequences for failing to comply with the General Data Protection regulation by the European Union. The EU’s deadline for business enterprises that conduct business in Europe was on May 25, 2018. Moreover, the highly publicized scandal by Facebook and Cambridge Analytica has intensified the demand by populists for action and awareness related to how a firm handles the privacy of the information they collect from their clients.

However, it is important to note that action and awareness are two modalities that are very distinct. So far, only one certification program has focused its energies on solving both the privacy solution operationalization and privacy education. The International Association of Privacy Professionals’ certification program (IAPP) has now become the standard for companies and other employers who want the instant validation of the privacy expertise of any individual. The very first step to becoming a professional on privacy matters is to have a clear understanding of both the foreign and domestic rules and regulations.

There are a total of five variations for the professional privacy credentials under the IAPP umbrella. These include the US private sector, the US government, Europe, Canada and Asia. You will have to acquire the CIPP/E certification to get a GDPR savvy. One of the first things that human resource managers ask for before they can hire your firm is accreditation from either of these certifying body.

Read More: https://www.law.com/2018/05/29/the-power-of-certifications-in-the-legal-industry/?slreturn=20180431214956

Professor Sujit Choudhry is Signatory on Amicus Brief that Opposes Texas’ Anti-Abortion Law

Professor Sujit Choudhry of the Center for Constitutional Transitions is one of several academics in the field of international and comparative law who are signatories on an amicus curiae brief concerning the improper view of international perspectives on abortion law. The brief, led by Aziza Ahmed, professor at Northeastern University School of Law, supports the Center for Reproductive Rights and Planned Parenthood as co-counsel representing abortion clinics and doctors in a case examining a challenge to a Texas law that bans dilation and evacuation, an otherwise commonly used and safe second trimester abortion procedure. More narrowly, the law seeks to ban the safest, most common method of second-trimester abortions after approximately 15 weeks, and as such Texas is in direct contradiction to the norms recognized in international law. The law was preliminary enjoined by a federal district court as it finds it to be likely unconstitutional. The state of Texas has appealed.

 

States are required by international human rights law to enable access to safe and legal abortion services. In line with this international norm, the global consensus is such that individual nations with legal traditions similar to those of the U.S. lean towards liberalization of abortion access. This reflects an expanding understanding of the close links between abortion access, gender equality and women’s health. Rather than acknowledging this international consensus, Texas presents a misleading and erroneous analysis of foreign law in the support of the state’s aim to pass a law that restricts access to safe abortion care.

 

The brief first elaborates international law as a counterpoint to the comparative analysis on which Texas exclusively relies. It then highlights the flawed methodology as well as the irrelevancy of the points mentioned by the expert witness who introduced comparative law evidence in support of Texas as they do not speak to moral or ethical consensus. Professor Choudhry is among the amici who, as international and comparative law scholars, has an interest in correcting this improper view of international law and Texas’s deeply flawed comparative law analysis.

 

 

Professor Choudhry is internationally recognized as an expert on comparative constitutional law and politics. He has also been a constitutional advisor for over two decades, and his expertise encompasses facilitating public dialogue sessions with civil society groups and other stakeholders, leading stakeholder consultations, performing detailed advisory work with technical experts, training civil servants and bureaucrats, engaging party leaders and parliamentarians, and drafting technical reports and memoranda in the field. Professor Choudhry globally advises on the process of constitution building in a number of countries. He is currently a member of the United Nations Mediation Roster and consultant to the World Bank Institute at the World Bank and the United Nations Development Program.

 

Choudhry is the founding Director of the Center for Constitutional Transitions that assembles and leads international networks of experts and partners with a global network of multilateral organizations, think tanks, NGOs and universities in order to conduct thematic research projects that offer evidence-based policy options to practitioners. This is part of the Center’s effort to both create as well as mobilize knowledge in support of constitution building.  To date, the Center for Constitutional Transitions has worked with over 50 experts from more than 25 countries. The Center is partnered with with the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, whereby Choudhry co-leads three global collaborative research projects. These include Dealing with Territorial Cleavages in Constitutional Transitions, Security Sector Reform and Constitutional Transitions in Emerging Democracies, and Security Sector Oversight: Protecting Democratic Consolidation from Authoritarian Backsliding and Partisan Abuse.

 

Sujit Choudhry is the I. Michael Heyman Professor of Law at the University of California, Berkeley – School of Law. His previous academic engagements include having been the Cecelia Goetz Professor of Law at New York University, and the Scholl Chair at the University of Toronto. In his research, he focuses on several comparative constitutional law and politics issues. These include constitutional design as a tool to manage the transition from violent conflict to peaceful democratic politics; constitutional design in ethnically divided societies; federalism, decentralization and secession; semi-presidentialism; constitutional courts; official language policy, minority and group rights; bills of rights and proportionality; constitutional design in the context of transitions from authoritarian to democratic rule; constitution building; security sector oversight; and basic methodological questions in the study of comparative constitutional law.

 

His publication record includes over ninety articles, books, book chapters, working papers and reports. Choudhry is a member of the Executive Committee of the International Society of Public Law, the International Advisory Council of the Institute for Integrated Transitions, the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Journal of Constitutional Law, the Editorial Board of the Constitutional Court Review, the Editorial Advisory Board for the Cambridge Studies in Constitutional Law, and is an Honorary Member of the Advisory Council of the Indian Constitutional Law Review.

More information on Sujit Choudhry can be found on his personal website sujitchoudhry.com as well as on LinkedIn, Twitter (@sujit_choudhry), Instagram (@sujitchoudhry) and on Facebook. More information regarding the Center can be found on constitutionaltransitions.com.

Legal Connections of U.S. President’s Personal Attorney Face Scrutiny

In the common law system of the United States, attorney-client privilege is considered one of the most sacred principles of the legal practice; however, the multiple investigations surrounding New York attorney Michael Cohen are really putting this principle to the test.

As personal attorney to U.S. President Donald Trump, Michael Cohen came to notoriety a few months ago after investigative reporters from the Wall Street Journal exposed the clumsy handling of Stormy Daniels, an adult film star who had a sexual relationship with Trump in 2016. Cohen sought to pay off Daniels with a shaky non-disclosure agreement that never quite managed to keep the actress silent about her affair with the billionaire who is now U.S. President.

Just as the Stormy Daniels scandal was developing into a news media spectacle, federal agents and prosecutors raided Cohen’s office, filing cabinet and home; this action was pursuant to a search warrant that originated from the ongoing Special Counsel investigation into alleged collusion between Russian operatives and the Trump political campaign.

Sifting through Cohen’s files for the purpose of organizing discovery has been complicated due to attorney-client privilege issues. The federal judge in this case appointed a special master to ensure that privileged communications between Cohen and certain clients does not leak out in the course of prosecution; nonetheless, what has been revealed thus far appears to be very questionable.

As reported by the American Bar Association Journal, the investigation into Cohen’s business indicates that he referred major clients to firms such as Squire Patton Boggs, and he also took on clients such as AT&T and Novartis on his own, but the scope of the work that was promised to these companies could be troublesome for President Trump.

In the case of the U.S. Immigration Fund, the client referred to Squire Patton Boggs, it is alleged that Cohen promised direct access to Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and White House adviser. The U.S. Immigration Fund is dedicated to facilitating HB-5 visas to wealthy foreigners who can apply for green cards in exchange for investing in projects that create jobs for American workers. Kushner has already been criticized for peddling his influence to Chinese investors.

As for AT&T and Novartis, their respective CEOs have embarrassedly admitted that retaining Cohen was a strategy to advance their lobbying efforts. Prosecutors are also focusing on Russian investors who transferred nearly one million dollars to Cohen, although the reasons as to why the embattled attorney received these funds is unclear.

The Government Went Seeking Justice at Visium. But Was it Served?

Nearly two years after being rocked by an investigation, Visium Asset Management continues to wind down its business. In June 2016, the SEC and the U.S. Attorney’s Office laid charges emanating from bond mis-marking and inflated portfolio assets as the result of evidence brought forward by whistleblower Jason Thorell.

Thorell’s concerns over mispricing surfaced in June 2013 when he raised the issue with Visium’s founder and CIO, Jacob Gottlieb while recording the conversation. Thorell subsequently reported his concerns to the SEC and in collaboration with the FBI and the SEC, Thorell spent more than two years gathering evidence in the form of hundreds of hours of recorded conversations. This evidence triggered an investigation into Visium’s holdings and resulted in the charges brought against two former employees. Despite the fact that only 2% of the company’s employees were involved, the charges resulted in the very public destruction of the $8 billion firm and left over 170 employees suddenly without jobs.

Today, the SEC settled charges against Visium Asset Management for insider trading and inflation of fund returns.

The only person remaining at the firm is Jacob Gottlieb, and he continues his work as CIO as Visium winds down. Gottlieb founded Visium in 2005 with a vision of creating a healthcare-focused hedge fund that would put company culture and employees first. Before creating Visium, Gottlieb had been an extremely successful portfolio manager at several other firms. However, he noticed that many companies had a cutthroat culture and suffered from a lack of team work and leadership support. Gottlieb wanted Visium to be different and he sought to create a company that offered employees a positive and collaborative culture, long-term career opportunities, and professional development.

Gottlieb’s long and deliberate recruitment process assessed not only skills and experience but also, and most importantly, cultural fit. New employees were supported with a formal onboarding process and regular meetings with Gottlieb himself to assess progress and set goals. New portfolio managers were also paired with research dirtectors to support them through the initial learning period, help them identify mistakes, and provide ongoing coaching on how to improve. With this strong support system, Visium portfolio managers were successful; and at its peak in 2016, the company had the aforementioned 170 employees and $8 billion in AUM.

Given the supportive environment that fostered many Visium employees to launch successful careers beginnings, it didnt’ come as a surprise when many of them were quickly picked up by competitors in 2016. Being accustomed to Gottlieb’s nurturing leadership style, the former employees quickly realized the sink-or-swim mentality that their new employers harnessed. 20 Visium employees were poached by Aptigon Capital, a subsidiary of Citadel, at the first sign of the unfurling insider trading scandal. Citadel founder and CEO, Ken Griffin lured employees away from Visium with generous pay packages and the promise of managing $1 billion portfolios. Griffin’s no stranger to poaching talent and has been quoted as saying “the talent you want to hire is the talent you want to pull from someone else.”

What Visium employees didn’t realize was that Griffin would live up to his reputation as an unforgiving boss who is quick to dismiss employees. Part of Griffin’s promise to employees was that they would receive the support of analysts to service their portfolios, but this promise went unfulfilled leaving the managers overworked and under-resourced. The Visium employees were also burdened by Aptigon’s aggressive fee structure. The higher fees Aptigon demanded meant that the managers needed to achieve higher returns than they were used to, without the assistance of the skilled analysts and collaborative culture that they were accustomed to under Visium (and Gottlieb)’s leadership. As a result, of the 20 Visium portfolio managers recruited by Aptigon, only two remain less than two years later.

The fall of Visium was caused by the actions of a small number of employees escaping detection for a short period of time- as confirmed by the SEC’s recent press release earlier today. Ultimately, many have suffered from the resulting layoffs and the lack of professional success at other firms, like Aptigon. To further illustrate the scope of the issues resulting from the dissolution of Visium, we can look at the fate of employees who have gone to competing firms. At the same time Aptigon was recruiting Visium employees, other Visium portfolio managers joined rival firm AllianceBernstein Holding LP. Although the Visium employees have been successful at AllianceBernstein, their success is lining the pockets of the foreign-owned parent company, AXA. Through Visium’s downfall, the American economy has lost talented workers and money to foreign-based entities.

The fate of the 170 innocent people who’ve suffered as a result of the events at Visium is often overlooked. The magnitude of the inflated assets are estimated to be approximately $4.5 million …a relatively small amount considering that it has forced the closure of an $8 billion company and the loss of 170 jobs. In the epilogue, there is no doubt that Gottlieb’s Visium was a firm with good intentions; a positive firm for investors and employees. The impact of Visium’s closure extends well beyond the named parties. Is this justice?

It Is Legal For Landlords To Refuse To Rent People With Section 8

The Section 8 housing program is designed to make housing more affordable for people. However, there are many landlords in Charlotte, North Carolina who refuse to rent to people who have Section 8 vouchers. It may be unethical, but it is still legal. Mark Poulton is a property owner who has dozens of houses in Charlotte. He stated that there is a great demand for housing in his area.

Mark stated that he is selective about who he rents to. He refuses to rent to people who have Section 8 vouchers. He stated that the property has to be inspected before someone with a Section 8 voucher can move into it. This can take two weeks, which causes the landlord to lose money.

Shelly Fenly and Angela Hargrove are both Section 8 recipients. They stated that they have both had multiple landlords turn them down. Shelly stated that she had been turned down by 15 landlords.

Angela stated that she has faced a lot of discrimination because she was on Section 8. She stated that she has been treated like a bad person just because she was on Section 8. She believes that it is a form of income discrimination. A spokesperson for the Charlotte Housing Authority has stated that discriminating against people who have Section 8 makes it harder for people to get affordable housing.

Both Angela and Shelley believe that the laws should be changed so that landlords cannot refuse people with Section 8 vouchers. Braxton Winston III works for the City of Charlotte. He stated that everyone has the right to safe and affordable housing.

He also stated that if the laws are changed in Charlotte, then the issue may be taken to the state. It will be a lot like the situation that happened with the HB2 bill.

Iowa Court Rules Dangerous Dog Ordinance is Too Vague

Pinky is a mixed-breed dog was lives in the city of Des Moines, Iowa. One day, Pinky was mistakenly let into the front yard by a family friend. Pinky spotted the neighbor’s cat, and proceeded to grab the cat in her mouth.

The cat was not killed, but it required over 36 staples to close its wounds. The cat’s owner called animal control who took Pinky into custody.

The city of Des Moines has a dangerous animal law. According to this law, any animal that had a propensity to viciousness and had attacked another animal to the point that the other animal or person suffered a laceration, fracture or needed surgery was deemed a dangerous animal.

This designation fit what happened in the incident between Pinky and cat. Pinky was ordered to be euthanized. However, Pinky’s new owner, the Animal Rescue League of Iowa, filed suit to block the city’s order.

The case made its way to the Iowa Court of Appeals which has ruled by a 3-2 margin that the dangerous animal ordinance in the city of Des Moines is too vague rendering it unconstitutional. Pinky has won a reprieve.

The court found the law to be vague in a number of different areas. The justices had problems with the term “vicious tendencies”. The majority felt that this was not defined, and they felt that one incident may not be enough to state that an animal had vicious tendencies when the dog had been gentle in the past.

One justice stated that the law was too vague because it might classify a cat as a dangerous animal for practicing natural behavior. The justice gave the example of a cat killing or maiming a wild bird.

The justices in the majority made it clear that in order for a dangerous animal law to be enforceable in the city of Des Moines, the city would have to be more detailed in the law. The court also suggested that one person should not be able to determine if an animal was vicious.

 

 

 

 

Michigan Bar Association Refuses To Reinstate Suspended Referee

In 2014, the Michigan State Bar Association suspended Dennis Mikko’s license to practice law. They said that Mikko failed to maintain high standards of conduct required of lawyers. They also said that Mikko violated Michigan’s Rules of Professional Conduct. They suspended Mikko’s license for one year and also charged him costs of approximately $2,800.

Mikko recently asked the Michigan Bar for another chance. He said that he was ready to practice law again. Bar representatives said that they looked at Mikko’s conduct before, during and after his suspension. They said they weren’t convinced that it’s a good idea to hand him a new bar card.

In his petition for a new bar license, Mikko said that his original suspension wasn’t fair. He said that the original hearing officers looked at images that they shouldn’t have considered. The new hearing panel said that it was so long ago that it didn’t matter much.

It’s safe to say that the conduct leading to Mikko’s suspension is some of the most bizarre conduct in Michigan State Bar history. Mikko was a family court referee for the 13th Circuit Court in Grand Traverse County, Michigan. It was his job to hear cases regarding juvenile delinquency.

Mikko wasn’t an elected judge. Instead, he was hired by the court to hear cases on the judge’s behalf. The purpose of Mikko’s position is to allow a referee to handle some of the more routine, daily work of the court. It was part of Mikko’s job to hear cases involving at-risk youth who appeared in front of the court to respond to petitions regarding juvenile delinquency.

That’s where Mikko’s behavior gets strange. Mikko created a journal. The journal was full of lewd photographs. Mikko took photos of some of the juveniles who appeared in his court and put them on the lewd photographs. He added writings by the photographs.

Mikko kept the diary in his briefcase at work. He also allegedly had sexually explicit communications using his work computer. Mikko faced criminal charges, but a court dismissed them because they said that the photos weren’t criminal. Prosecutors didn’t challenge the dismissal.

Mikko said that he’s remorseful for his actions. However, bar officials said that he was just trying to say the right things. Mikko continued to referee youth soccer during the term of his suspension. Parents whose children played soccer said that they disagreed with the decision to allow Mikko to officiate youth soccer games but felt powerless to stop it.

Ref: http://www.adbmich.org/coveo/boardorders/2018-01-10-17bo-6.pdf